June 9th, 2020


My tweets


The Nightmare Stacks, by Charles Stross

Second paragraph of third chapter:
I'm a mathematician with an interest in higher-dimensional topological deformations, and a recent career track that includes designing visualization systems for directed exploration of stochastic market movements with application to the Black-Scholes model—a weaponized banker, in other words. I have zero training or understanding of architecture, facilities management, structural engineering, or logistics. So I'm somewhat puzzled that Management have shoved me out here with Pete (who, as a vicar, is just as unqualified as I am) to tramp around various decaying crown estate assets in West Yorkshire and pronounce on their fitness for refurbishment for various missions that I am not yet cleared to know about.
One of the Laundry Files novels, in which the protagonist is one of the vampires introduced in The Rhesus Chart, working for The Laundry, the secret British government agency set up to prevent supernatural incursions. Our hero discovers an incursion into our world from a parallel universe whose people have mastered magic; there is lots of fun with tropes from elvish lore (and some nods to vampire culture too), but also the horrific and sanguinary consequences of a breach between the dimensions are made very clear. The action takes place in Leeds, the author's home town, which is very well depicted; I'm struggling to think of other sf set there, though as it happens I've just been rewatching The Beiderbecke Affair, which might count as fantasy in some ways. Great fun, and you can get it here.

This was my top unread book acquired in 2017. Next on that pile is East West Street, by Philippe Sands.